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United States Patent Application 20170302993
Kind Code A9
MERLIN; Yakkov October 19, 2017

METHOD OF DISPLAYING INTERNET SIGNAL ON TV

Abstract

A TV-Internet Integration Box allows display of first data broadcast over a TV subscriber channel simultaneously together with second data broadcast over a digital data communications network has respective first and second inputs for receiving at a user premises the first data and the second data according to a user-profile associated with the second data. A combiner unit combines the first data and second data to form a combined video signal; and a video output coupled to the combiner unit conveys the combined video signal to a TV set in a user premises for displaying a first image corresponding to a first data and having a superimposed thereon a second image corresponding to the second data. A user at the user premises may interact with the second image for redirecting to the digital data communications network and displaying a program broadcast thereby is a least a portion of the TV set.


Inventors: MERLIN; Yakkov; (Raanana, IL)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

TVNGO LTD. (BVI)

AMSTERDAM

NL
Prior Publication:
  Document IdentifierPublication Date
US 20160261910 A1September 8, 2016
Family ID: 1000002897912
Appl. No.: 14/951990
Filed: November 25, 2015


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
13336189Dec 23, 20119407969
14951990
11794825Jul 6, 20078132220
PCT/IL2005/000035Jan 11, 2005
13336189

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: H04N 21/44016 20130101; H04N 21/854 20130101; H04N 21/812 20130101; H04N 21/64322 20130101; H04N 21/6143 20130101; H04N 21/6125 20130101; H04N 21/6118 20130101; H04N 21/4782 20130101; H04N 21/4622 20130101; H04N 21/4438 20130101; H04N 21/4381 20130101; H04N 21/4331 20130101; H04N 21/4316 20130101; H04N 21/431 20130101
International Class: H04N 21/44 20110101 H04N021/44; H04N 21/81 20110101 H04N021/81; H04N 21/643 20110101 H04N021/643; H04N 21/61 20110101 H04N021/61; H04N 21/61 20110101 H04N021/61; H04N 21/4782 20110101 H04N021/4782; H04N 21/462 20110101 H04N021/462; H04N 21/443 20110101 H04N021/443; H04N 21/438 20110101 H04N021/438; H04N 21/433 20110101 H04N021/433; H04N 21/431 20110101 H04N021/431; H04N 21/854 20110101 H04N021/854; H04N 21/61 20110101 H04N021/61

Claims



15. A TV-Internet Integration process to combine, at a user's premises, TV channel video with Internet Protocol (IP) material, comprising: receiving the TV channel video at a first input at the user's premises, receiving the IP material at a second input at the user's premises, and outputting display drive signals to a TV screen at the user's premises; wherein (i) as received at the user's premises, the TV channel video conforms to a TV broadcast format standard; (ii) as received at the user's premises, the IP format material conforms to an IP format standard that is different from the TV broadcast format standard and (iii) the IP material is received via a path different from that for the TV channel video at least in part; storing, in a memory, one or more overlays each identifying a respective source of IP format material; selectively generating display drive signals that cause the TV screen to display the TV channel video received at the first input; responding to an overlay activation signal by reading out the one or more overlays from the memory and generating display drive signals that cause the TV screen to display the one or more overlays; and responding to a user's selection of one of the displayed overlays by generating display drive signals that cause the TV screen to display the IP material associated with the selected overlay and received at the second input; wherein, depending on the user's selection at the user's premises, the TV screen displays, at respective times, the TV channel video received at the first input, the one or more overlays, and the IP material associated with the selected overlay and received at the second input.

16. The TV-Internet Integration process of claim 15 in which the display drive signals that cause the TV screen to display the one or more overlays cause the screen to display the one or more overlays over a concurrent display of the TV channel video on the screen.

17. The TV-Internet Integration process of claim 15 in which the display drive signal that cause the TV screen to display the one or more overlays cause the screen to display the one or more overlays in respective windows on the TV screen while the screen is displaying the TV channel video.

18. The TV-Internet Integration process of claim 15 in which the overlay activation signal is generated as a function of testing if specified conditions at the user's premises match contents of the memory.

19. The TV-Internet Integration process of claim 15 including pre-fetching one or more overlays and storing the one or more pre-fetched overlays in a memory at the user's premises for subsequent display on the TV screen.

20. The TV-Internet Integration process of claim 15 including pre-fetching IP material and storing the pre-fetched IP material in a memory at the user's premises for subsequent display on the TV screen.

21. The TV-Internet Integration process of claim 15 including providing a set top box decoding TV channel video and supplying the resulting decoded TV channel video to said first input.

22. The TV-Internet Integration process of claim 21 in which the IP material path bypasses the set top box.

23. The TV-Internet Integration process of claim 15 in which the TV screen displays at least one of the one or more overlays in response to a special overlay activation signal from an external source timed relative to an event in the TV channel video displayed on the TV screen.

24. The TV-Internet Integration process of claim 15 in which the TV screen displays one or more overlays that point to sources of IP material but not to specific IP material.

25. The TV-Internet Integration process of claim 15 including selectively processing, at the user's premises, an overlay activation signal per input from the user.
Description



FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to the broadcast of audio/video content over the TV infrastructure Internet.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] With the proliferation of cable TV and the high bandwidth currently available for the Internet, which promises to increase even more in the near future, Internet TV is fast becoming a viable alternative to regular and cable TV broadcast channels. Moreover, Internet TV is not subject to the government licensing laws required by cable and broadcast TV channels and thus offers programs that may not be obtainable using regular and cable TV broadcast channels.

[0003] It is not uncommon for Internet broadcasters to offer near DVD-quality movies that can be viewed either using video streaming or downloaded to the hard disk of a subscriber's computer for viewing "off-line". The video quality of such movies is vastly superior to that obtainable on a regular TV set, owing to the high resolution associated with computer displays that cannot presently be matched by TV screens. However, this is not particularly troublesome where only pictures are displayed; but it becomes a problem when textual information is displayed that is formatted for high resolution computer monitors since the text is then barely legible when displayed on lower resolution TV screens. Thus, if a regular TV set is used to display Internet content that is rich in text, the resulting display quality is poor.

[0004] It would therefore be a significant benefit to users of low resolution displays such as TV screens, to be able to watch regular and cable TV broadcasts and to integrate with Internet content on demand. In particular, it would be desirable to provide such a user with a visual and legible indication when viewing a regular or TV broadcast of available Internet movies or other programs and allow him to use the displayed indication to integrate with a desired Internet broadcast.

[0005] These requirements have been only partially addressed in the art WO 00/08855 to United Video Properties, Inc. and entitled "A system and method for synchronising television-related product content and internet-delivered information" describes a screen generator that merges program guide data with a TV image and superimposes an Interactive TV Guide on the regular TV image.

[0006] US 2002/0093594 (Kikinis) entitled "Method and system for identifying addressing data within a television presentation" illustrates in FIG. 5 the common connection of TV and Internet to a set-top box.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 6,606,746 to Opened, Inc. entitled "Interactive television system and method for displaying a graphical user interface using insert pictures" discloses interactive television having a compressed background picture and one or more compressed insert pictures commonly connected to a TV-Internet Integration box. The compressed insert pictures represent Items of a GUI. The local system i.e. computer "pastes" the insert pictures into the background image.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 6,130,898 to Bell Atlantic Network Services, Inc., entitled "Simulcasting digital video programs for broadcast and interactive services" teaches an interactive TV system where TV broadcast data is merged with Internet data. To this end, public wireless packet data network is combined with a broadband digital broadcast network at a plurality of transmitter sites. Customer premises receiving systems include a receiving antenna and one or more digital entertainment terminals. The terminal includes a channel selector and digital receiver for capturing a digital transport stream from a selected channel. A processor converts selected program information from the transport stream for presentation, e.g., via a television set. The terminal also includes a CPU controlling the operation of the channel selector and the processor in response to user inputs.

[0009] None of these references appears to disclose the ability to merge broadcast TV signals with IP packet data at a customer site, specifically in such a manner that a conventional TV set is able to display Internet program selection data while viewing a TV broadcast program and to use the selected data to select an Internet channel, such as a movie, for display on the TV set instead of the TV broadcast program.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a TV-Internet Integration Box having the ability to merge broadcast TV signals with IP packet data at a customer site.

[0011] It is a further object that such a TV-Internet Integration Box permits a TV set connected thereto to display Internet program selection data while viewing a TV broadcast program and to use the selected data to select an Internet movie for display instead of the TV broadcast program.

[0012] These objectives are realized in accordance with a first aspect of the invention by a method for facilitating first data broadcast over a TV subscriber channel to be displayed simultaneously together with second data broadcast over a digital data communications network, the method comprising:

[0013] receiving said first data and said second data;

[0014] combining said first data and said second data to form a combined video signal; and

[0015] conveying said combined video signal to a TV set in a user premises for displaying a first image corresponding to the first data and having superimposed thereon a second image corresponding to the second data, said second image being configured to allow a user at said user premises to interact therewith for redirecting to the digital data communications network and displaying a program broadcast thereby in at least a portion of the TV set.

[0016] In accordance with a second aspect of the invention there is provided a method for facilitating first data broadcast over a TV subscriber channel to be displayed simultaneously together with second data broadcast over a digital data communications network, the method comprising;

[0017] receiving said first data at a user premises;

[0018] receiving said second data at the user premises according to a user-profile associated with the second data;

[0019] combining said first data and said second data to form a combined video signal; and

[0020] conveying said combined video signal to a TV set in a user premises for displaying a first image corresponding to the first data and having superimposed thereon a second image corresponding to the second data, said second image being configured to allow a user at said user premises to interact therewith for redirecting to the digital data communications network and displaying a program broadcast thereby in at least a portion of the TV set.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0021] In order to understand the invention and to see how it may be carried out in practice, a preferred embodiment will now be described, by way of non-limiting example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, is which:

[0022] FIG. 1 is pictorial representation showing a TV-Internet Integration Box according to the invention connected to a mixed broadcast network for combining Internet and broadcast TV signals;

[0023] FIG. 2 is a flow diagram showing the principal actions carried out by the web server shown in FIG. 1;

[0024] FIG. 3 is a flow diagram showing the principal actions carried out by the TV-Internet Integration Box shown is FIG. 1;

[0025] FIG. 4 is a flow diagram showing the principal actions carried out by an IP content provider such as an advertiser for creating IP content for overlaying by the TV-Internet Integration Box with a broadcast TV signal;

[0026] FIG. 5 is a block diagram showing the functionality of the TV-Internet Integration Box shown in FIG. 1;

[0027] FIG. 6 is a block diagram showing the functionality of a remote control unit for interfacing with the TV-Internet Integration Box shows in FIG. 5;

[0028] FIGS. 7a, 7b and 7c are pictorial representations showing a TV set during different stages of receiving and displaying combined Internet and broadcast TV signals; and

[0029] FIG. 8 is a flow diagram showing the principal actions earned out by the TV-Internet Integration Box when pre-fetching a digital broadcast signal.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

[0030] FIG. 1 is pictorial representation showing a mixed broadcast network 10 having a Cable TV Box 11 coupled to a satellite 12 and a Cable TV transmitter 13 for receiving a cable TV broadcast signal (constituting first data). An Internet broadcast signal comprising IP packet data (constituting second data) is streamed from a web server 14 via the Internet 15 (constituting a digital data communications network) to a TV-Internet Integration Box 16 for display on a TV set 17 coupled thereto. The TV set 17 may be constituted by a computer having a video card and a high resolution display monitor. However, the principal benefit of the invention is obtained when a regular TV set having low resolution is used, since such a configuration has not so far been used to integrate Internet programs with conventional TV broadcasts in the manner proposed by the invention. The TV-Internet Integration Box 16 is connected to the Cable TV Box 11 for combining the broadcast TV signals received by the Cable TV Box 11 with the IP packet date broadcast via the Internet 15. Also shown is as advertiser 18 having a computer coupled to the Internet 15 for downloading advertising content to the web server 14 for storage in a database 19 and a telephone 20 coupled to the TV-Internet Integration Box 16 for feeding telephony signals to the TV-Internet Integration Box 16, which combines the received telephony signals with video data received from the Cable TV Box 11 and/or the Internet 15.

[0031] The advertiser 18 typically pays for specific time slots and for one or mote specific channels during which his advertisement will be broadcast. Thus, in addition to the advertising content which is prepared and then stored on the web server 14 in known manner, the advertiser 18 also specifies when the advertisement is to be broadcast and on which TV channel or channels. By such means, a sports advertiser can request time during the interval of a football match to broadcast a commercial, while a toy advertiser would obviously prefer to broadcast a commercial, during a children's TV program. Different time slots may be charged out at different rates depending on the ratings associated with the associated TV program. After selecting one or more time slots, the advertisement content as well as the selected time slots and program data are stored in the database 19 accessed the web server 14.

[0032] FIG. 2 is a flow diagram showing the principal actions carried out by the web server 14, which is responsive to an event timetable stored and updated in the database 19. To this end, an IP content provider interfaces with the web server for creating IP content and associating therewith calendar and program data indicating dates, times and channels in respect of which the IP content is to be streamed to the customer premises. Once this is done, the web server 14 monitors events, which are triggered in known manner causing the web server 14 to extract from the database pre-stored ID content for streaming over the Internet 15 to the TV-Internet Integration Box 16, where it is processed as described below with reference to FIG. 3 of the drawings.

[0033] FIG. 3 is a flow diagram showing the principal actions carried out by the TV-Internet Integration Box 16. In accordance with one embodiment of the invention, the subscriber selects what kind of IP content he wishes to receive and in respect of which program details, such as icons and/or textual data, are to be displayed together with the TV broadcast data. For example, a subscriber may wish to block certain types of program material or may wish to receives details thereof only during limited hours, for example when the children are asleep. To this end, the subscriber is able to program the TV-Internet Integration Box 16 in much the same way that a video cassette recorder is programmed so as to store in the memory 25 a timetable indicating what type of IP data is to be displayed and when. The timetable is updated as and when required by the subscriber. The TV-Internet Integration Box 16 is adapted to check the timetable periodically and to filter out incoming IP content that is either of a type that is not required or that is broadcast during an unauthorized time window. By such means, an additional layer of authorization may be provided to that stored in the database 19 for access by the web server 14, thus allowing pre-fetching of IP content and storage in the memory 25 of the TV-Internet Integration Box 16. Upon detecting a matching event, corresponding to received IP content that is of interest to the subscriber, the TV-Internet Integration Box 16 overlays the matched IP content with the current broadcast and displays the new integrated video on the subscriber's TV set 17. For example, the matched information may be an icon that indicates to the subscriber that an Internet movie is currently being broadcast; or it may be as advertisement or information related to the TV program being broadcast.

[0034] The subscriber can respond to the overlaid data using a remote control unit, described below with reference to FIG. 6 of the drawings, which is programmed to internet with the displayed icon or other data that is overlaid on the TV broadcast. To this end, the displayed IP content may optionally contain textual information advising the subscriber to press a particular button on the remote control unit. Alternatively, buttons on the remote control unit may be color-coded and the icon may be colored so as to indicate to the subscriber which color-coded button to press for selection of the corresponding IP content. If the subscriber responds to the overlaid data by pressing a button on the remote control unit, the TV-Internet Integration Box 16 receives the signal from the remote control unit and changes the priorities for use with the Picture-in-Picture (PIP) technique to display the TV broadcast in a reduced window and to show the other media, i.e. the IP content, in an enlarged window. The IP content can be a custom designed web page for TV, or a game or advertisement movie or any other Information placed on the matched record. PIP techniques are known per se and allow a video or graphics image to be Inserted on top of a movie clip and to be positioned and sized. An Effect In and Effect Out may be used to lade or move the inserted video to the screen. In accordance with one such technique, the bulk of the IP content e.g. corresponding to a movie may be rendered transparent so as to provide a transparent window through, which an icon e.g. relating to the movie is visible. The video content of the TV broadcast is displayed in one window and the IP content in another window. Since the bulk of the IP content is transparent it will remain invisible to the subscriber, while the icon (or text) will, be visible since it is opaque. On selecting the displayed icon, the attributes may simply be reversed so as to hide the icon while displaying the movie or other content. At the same time, the TV broadcast may be re-sized either to display it in a minimized window it the case that it is to be suppressed altogether, or to display it superimposed on the IP content so that both are visible at the same time in different, possibly overlapping, windows.

[0035] FIG. 4 is a flow diagram showing the principal actions carried out by an IP content provider such as an advertiser for creating IP content for overlaying by the TV-Internet Integration Box with a broadcast TV signal. Thus, the advertiser designs an advertisement and sends it together with a request to a web sits link via the Internet or off-line as required. Since the IP content is intended for display on a low resolution TV screen, any textual information that forms part of the IP content is formatted so as to be legible when displayed on lower resolution TV screens. Generally, this requires reducing the quantity of textual information to a minimum and sizing any text so that it is legible. Often, a web advertiser will wish to create an on-line advertisement based on an existing web page. In such case, it may be necessary to reduce and resize any textual information so as to comply with these requirements.

[0036] The request specifies calendar and program data as explained above, which the web site operator checks for availability and type, defining to which group of users it belongs. If the required time slots are available for the requested channels, the site operator confirms the request and forwards the request to the web control room for final confirmation. On confirming the request, a status flag of the advertisement is changed so as to indicate that the advertisement is awaiting final confirmation from the web control room. At the web control room the advertisement is checked for content by human evaluators who either approve or reject the advertisement content and, in the case of rejection, may provide reasons therefore. If the advertisement (or other IP content) is approved by the web control center, its status is set to "approved" and the web control center bills the customer and the web site operator adds the advertisement and the scheduling information to the database 19. The customer who is billed is typically the advertiser but may be any entity that is identified by a digital signature associated with the advertisement If either of the requests for approval is rejected the status of the advertisement is set to "rejected" and the web control room informs the advertiser of the grounds for rejection, allowing the advertiser to change the request and re-send to the web site operator. Optionally, in such case the web server may be adapted to display to the advertiser the occupied timetable and suggest new timetable. Only those advertisements whose status flag indicates that they are approved by the web control room are actually available for transmission. The time slot and channel information associated with any advertisement that is not so approved remain available for other advertisements and will be shown as available to another advertiser who attempts to schedule an advertisement. Only when the advertisement is actually approved by the web site operator and its status is updated accordingly, are the transmission time and channel looked for use by other users.

[0037] The IP packet data may optionally be associated with predefined user-profiles that are also stored in the database 19 so that the advertisement or other IP data is sent only to specific TV-Internet Integration Boxes. Such user-profiles may be configured by the advertiser or by the user. Thus, for example, the invention allows supplementary or complementary program content to be associated with a TV broadcast, while providing the facility to view the supplementary program content only to specific subscribers, according to their user-profiles.

[0038] Thus, by way of non-limiting example, the invention allows sign language to be associated with a TV broadcast for the hard of hearing. It is known to display sign language in a corner of the screen, but since this is usually done indiscriminately it also apt to disturb the majority of viewers who do not need the sign language. The invention may be used to avoid this by conveying the sign language as IP content separate from main TV broadcast and allowing subscribers to register for a "sign language" service so that only registered subscribers receive the IP content. IP content files corresponding to sign language to be associated with different TV broadcasts are created as explained above, and stored, in the database 19 together with user-profile data indicating which subscribers are registered to obtain the service. The user-profile data may contain data that further refines the target audience, such as categories of TV program alongside which the sign language is to be displayed. The user-profile data may further contain geographical data or language data that allows sign language corresponding to a target language to be conveyed to specific audiences. By such means, a TV program can be accompanied by a sign language overlay that is customized to a target language depending on the location of the IP target address or the language requested by the subscriber on registering for the service.

[0039] FIG. 5 is a block diagram showing the functionality of the TV-Internet Integration Box 16 shown in FIG. 1. Thus, the TV-Internet Integration Box 16 comprises a first input 21 for receiving first data corresponding to TV broadcast signal, typically being a cable TV signal and a second input 22 for receiving respective second data corresponding to IP packet data. The IP packet data may optionally be downloaded to specific TV-Internet Integration Boxes m accordance with predefined user-profiles associated with IP packet data and stored in the database 19. A combiner unit 23 is coupled to the first and second inputs for combining the first data and the second data to form a combined video signal. A video output 24 is coupled to the combiner unit 23 for conveying the combined video signal to a TV set in a user premises. The TV set may be a conventional TV having a relatively low resolution screen for displaying a first image corresponding to the first data and having superimposed thereon a second image corresponding to the second data. Alternatively, it can be a computer having a video card for displaying a combined video image on a high resolution display monitor.

[0040] The combiner unit 23 is shown coupled to a processing unit 25 although in practice it may be implemented in software by the processing unit 25. A memory 25 is coupled to the processing unit 25 for storing program data, such as profiles and program timetables etc, so as to allow the processing unit 25 to filter incoming IP content according to pre-defined profiles and other selection data. The processing unit 25 is also coupled to a user interface 27 that allows the subscriber to program the TV-Internet Integration Box 16 and store the program data in the memory 26. An IP receiver 28 is adapted to receive IR commands from a remote control unit described below with reference to FIG. 6 and is coupled to a decoder 29, which decodes a received IR signal and feeds it to the processing unit 25 for further processing.

[0041] FIG. 6 is a block diagram showing the functionality of a remote control unit 30 for interfacing with the TV-Internet Integration Box 16 shown in FIG. 5. The remote control unit 30 includes a processing unit 31 coupled to a user interface 32, typically having a keypad or pushbuttons for program selection and setting as well as other functions. The user interface 32 is coupled to an encoder 33 which is responsive to a pressed key or key combination for producing a corresponding IR signal that is transmitted by an IR transmitter 34 to the TV-Internet Integration Box 16 for receipt by the IR receiver 28 thereof.

[0042] As noted above, the keys may be color coded in correspondence with pre-arranged colors of commonly displayed icons, so that pressing on a specific key activates the displayed icon of the same color. Alternatively, at least some of the keys may be covered with transfers depicting commonly displayed icons, whereupon the appropriate keys or button for activating each icon are easily recognized.

[0043] The keys may also be programmed so that depressing the same key more than once automatically re-sizes the windows containing the TV broadcast and the Internet broadcast. For example, FIG. 7a shows the default situation where a TV screen 40 displays a conventional TV broadcast in a window 41 that is sized to occupy the whole area of the TV screen 40 and will be referred to as the primary window. Also shown are IP icons 42, 43 and 44 each of which points to a different IP content that is streamed from a respective web site of known address. On pressing the key on the remote control unit 30 that corresponds to the icon 42, the IP content corresponding thereto is displayed within a small window 45 (referred to as the secondary window) that is contained within the primary window 41 as shown in FIG. 7d. The icons 42, 43 and 44 remain visible so that, if desired, the selected program can be changed by pressing a different key on the remote control unit 30. On pressing a key a second time in succession, the IP content is re-sized so that its window 45 occupies substantially the whole area of the screen as shown in FIG. 7c. On pressing the key a third time in succession, the situation reverts to the default shown in FIG. 7a where the primary window 41 containing the TV broadcast occupies the whole area of the TV screen 40. Thus, each key operates as a three-way toggle that switches between three different display modes.

[0044] The second data containing display information for the icons also contains data that informs the TV-Internet Integration Box 16 on which channel or channels the associated IR content is to be streamed and at what times. The second data also specifies the web site where the IP content is located. This is summarized in the following table:

TABLE-US-00001 TABLE I Second data - definition Icon image Channel Time Website of IP content ICON.GIF 2; 23 19:30; 21:30 www.AB.com/adverts/123.htm

[0045] Thus, the second data depicted in Table I above shows that the icon image is contained in a file called ICON.GIF and that the IP content relating thereto is to be streamed on channels 2 and 23 at times 19:30 and 21:30, these being the start times. The end times are determined by the duration of the IP content to be streamed, which is downloaded from a web site whose name is shown in the table and is contained in the second data.

[0046] The second data is downloaded from the web server 14 whose web site address is known to the TV-Internet Integration Box 16. In accordance with one embodiment, the processing unit 25 is programmed to access the web server 14 periodically and download current program data. For example, once every 2 to 3 hours the TV-Internet Integration Box 16 may automatically access the web server 14 to download the second data corresponding current program data for the next 3 hours as formatted according to Table I. The downloaded information is stored locally in the memory 26 of the TV-Internet Integration Box 16. This allows the TV-Internet Integration Box 16 to pre-fetch IP content relating to all the currently displayed icons and to store the data relating thereto in the memory 26 thus obviating the need to access the web site of a selected icon for the purpose of downloading IP selected content. Since this carries the overhead of web access and downloading of data, which can be cumbersome particularly if there is insufficient bandwidth, pre-fetching in this manner ensures that initial IP content data will be immediately available on selection of one of the icons.

[0047] FIG. 8 is a flow diagram, showing the principal actions carried out by the TV-Internet Integration Box when pre-fetching a digital broadcast signal. Thus, the TV-Internet Integration Box 16 periodically accesses the web server 14 and downloads current program data, constituting the second data. It then extracts from the current program data the image files of the current icons and stores them in the memory 26. In like manner, if extracts the web sites of the IP content corresponding to the currently displayed icons and then accesses these sites to pre-fetch the respective IP content, which it likewise stores in the memory 26. On selection of an icon, the TV-Internet Integration Box 16 opens a secondary window 45 within the primary window 41, reads from the memory 26 the prefetched IP content and displays it in the secondary window 45.

[0048] It will be understood that the TV-Internet Integration Box according to the invention may be at least partially implemented by a suitably programmed computer. Likewise, the invention contemplates a computer program being readable by a computer for executing the method of the invention. The invention further contemplates a machine-readable memory tangibly embodying a program of instructions executable by the machine for executing the method of the invention.

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